Shi Jinsong: Another Shore (2011)
Shyra de Souza: Phantom Limb (2013)
Shadia and Raja Alem: The Black Arch
STAINLESS STEEL, CAST IRON, FABRIC AND STONE WITH PROJECTED PHOTOGRAPHS AND SOUND INSTALLATION 700 × 20 × 350 CM.
PAVILION OF THE KINGDOM OF SAUDI ARABIA AT THE 54TH INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION – LA BIENNALE DI VENEZIA
Robin Meier & Ali Momeni: The Tragedy of the Commons (2011)
The Tragedy of the Commons consists of a live experiment in the form of an installation, in which thousands of Atta ants – commonly known as leafcutter ants – create a choreography while reacting to certain flavours and smells expertly selected by Robin Meier and Ali Momeni with the help of the Laboratory of Comparative and Experimental Ethology of Paris 13 University. The installation is structured via three circular boards, all connected to one another either directly or through video surveillance and sound. The first of these, at the show’s entrance, is occupied by the ant colony and is physically linked to a second and central board through a long transparent tube; the insects move back and forth through this, accessing goods and bringing them to their nest. In this instance, the goods (or ‘commons’) are a mix of privet and rose leaves and petals, discharged daily onto the central ‘platter’. Contact microphones and cameras, set up on its entire surface, amplify the sound of the ants’ stridulation and offer live playback of their gleaning on a couple of monitors, installed – for closer observation – on the third and last board at the back of the room.
In other words, Meier and Momeni have created a metaphoric ‘food stock market’ for the ants, since every smell or flavour available becomes merchandise capable of affecting their collective behaviour. Accordingly the two artists, who share a background in electronic and experimental music, here manage to make audible and visible a mechanism of social manipulation. On the sonic level, the amplified sound within the installation space corresponds to the ants’ more or less sustained activity – which is particularly effective, grating and loud when, for example, rose petals and leaves are ‘served’ on the central ‘platter’; for, logically enough, the more the ants are fond of a certain flavour, the more greedily they cut that certain plant within their mandibles and, accordingly, the more noise they make. On the visual level, when the central board is flooded with goods – and the insects’ gleaning drastically intensified – quite stunning traffic jams occur in the tube that the ants use to bring food back to the colony.
Claire Morgan: Throe (2011)
Josiah McElheny: Island Universe
Maude Léonard-Contant: Surtout ne prends pas froid
Studio Roosegaarde: Crystal
CRYSTAL are a thousand and one wireless light rocks which interact with people. CRYSTAL functions as a ‘digital campfire’ where people share stories of light.
Each Crystal contains LEDs that are wirelessly charged via a powermat. Once visitors start adding, moving or sharing Crystals, the basic breathing of the Crystals changes. The lighting behavior of crystals moves from ‘excited’ to ‘bored’, keeping visitors curious. People can either share or steal them.
Installations by Anish Kapoor